We all want to look our best when stepping out of the house, and for many of us, our hair is a crucial part of that. Hair tools, such as dryers and flat irons, help us achieve the perfect styles but have you stopped to consider the potential risks associated with their use? Did you ever stop to consider that these devices, that you use on such a recurring basis might actually be causing you much of your distress? It’s just a hair dryer, most of us think.
One risk that often goes unnoticed is exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation. In this blog post, we discuss the potential sources of EMF radiation from hair tools and the potential risks to your health, based on guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Potential Risks of EMF Radiation:
EMF radiation is an invisible form of energy that surrounds us every day, and exposure to it has been linked to various health risks, including cancer, DNA damage, and reproductive issues. The EMF radiation from hair tools, although at low levels, can still pose a risk to long-term health, particularly for those who use these tools regularly.
Sources of EMF Radiation from Hair Tools:
In a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP), hair tool manufacturer, Farouk Systems, raised concerns about the potential risks of EMF radiation from hair dryers in beauty salons.[¹] According to the letter, one hair dryer can emit 60 to 20,000 milligauss within 4 inches of proximity. This range is within the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency’s safe level recommendation of .5mG-2.5mG. The letter raised concerns that hair salons have 10 to 15 dryers in use at the same time, potentially exposing hairdressers to significant levels of EMF radiation.
The OSHA’s response to the letter confirmed that currently, there is no consensus on the potential health hazards of EMF radiation. As such, no OSHA permissible exposure limits (PELs) have been established for EMF radiation. But these guidelines may not be entirely representative of what is safest for us – it’s key to recognize that they can be outdated more often than not, and the cost of doing nothing is greater than that of taking action.
Are There Safer Hair Tools?
While the risks of EMF radiation are largely unknown, advancements in hair tool technology have seen the rise of safer hair tools that emit less radiant heat and reduce the risk of damage to hair. Infrared styling, for example, is a relatively new hair tool technology that is gaining popularity due to its ability to dry hair faster, lock in moisture, and reduce the amount of heat needed for styling.[²] Unlike traditional hair dryers, infrared hair dryers use less heat and emit less radiation, thus making them safer for everyday use.
The potential risks of EMF radiation from hair tools require the implementation of practical measures to reduce exposure, such as:
1. Limit Exposure Time: Limiting the amount of time spent under hair dryers and flat irons can significantly reduce exposure to EMF radiation.
2. Use Safer Hair Tools: Consider safer alternatives such as infrared hair dryers that emit less radiation and heat.
3. Increase Distance: Increasing the distance between the hair tool and your body can significantly reduce the amount of EMF radiation you’re exposed to.
Although the risks of EMF radiation from hair tools are largely unknown, it is essential to take practical measures to reduce exposure for the long-term health of hairdressers and salon-goers. In the pursuit of further research, an interesting idea would be to leverage EEG and other brain scan devices while using these hair tools to fully grasp how much radiation we’re truly exposed to. Regardless, using safer hair tools, limiting exposure time, and increasing distance can all help reduce the risks associated with EMF radiation from hair tools, ensuring healthy hair and a healthy body.